Don't Sell Yourself Short
Published: Tuesday, April 17, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, April 18, 2012 18:04
Colleges, and college students, focus a lot on statistics regarding the employment percentage of different majors and different schools. It’s become a frantic sort of comparison in the current economic climate, causing students in certain majors (like mine) to question whether they even want to pursue their academic interests. UNCW was ranked second-to-last among North Carolina universities for employment the year after graduation, but that certainly doesn’t mean there aren’t UNCW students who are doing big things. It definitely doesn’t mean that you as an individual can’t do big things.
One example of a UNCW student who is doing big, and non-traditional, things with his degree is Bill Fields who graduated in 2004 from UNCW. With his business degree he started his own non-profit organization, First in Education. Fields says the decision to start First in Education made sense to him because it was his own personal passion. “I really believe that education is one of the key aspects of an effective society,” says Fields, “and the education system in North Carolina should be a leader in the nation.”
Fields has used his knowledge of finance and business to create this organization that allows for the passions of teachers, students, and other educational staff to be realized. The organization raises funds for in-class projects set up by teachers with innovative ideas, and connects those teachers to others who share the same passions and can help them reach their goals. One project, for Travis Dyer of Riverside High School, is to obtain enough Legos and film technology for students in his History class to build and record various scenes from history in stop-motion, Lego fashion. According to Fields, First in Education was able to hook Dyer up to other individuals who shared a passion for this idea and were willing to donate Legos, or money, to bring this idea to fruition.
Fields said if he could tell graduating seniors anything, he would tell them “not just to do what they think they should do, but to tap into their entrepreneurial spirit and cultivate their passions.” Fields would say if you had the option of taking a menial internship because you thought it would look good on your resume or actively pursuing your passion, no matter how ridiculous or unlikely it may seem, pursue your passion. I agree. UNCW students may currently be ranked poorly in recent graduation employment statistics, but that hardly means that UNCW students aren’t as valuable or don’t have ideas as good as graduates of other NC schools. Don’t sell yourself short; you really can chase your passions and make a living doing it.
Anyone interested in partnering with/volunteering for First in Education should contact Bill Fields at BFields@firstineducation.org .